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blunt_force

HELP!! Brand New Electric Guitar with Fret Buzz, Now What?

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Hi all;
So I bought my first brand new electric guitar sealed in the box from Schecter and to my disappointment it has a fret buzz. What should I do, exchange it or get it setup properly? I'm worried that even after it setup by the professionals the buzz would come back! I'm also worried that they might have to do major modifications to the guitar to get rid of the buzz.

I just don't want to get stuck with it after the 45 days exchange policy or gives me headache down the road.

What should I do guys? Please give me an advise like this was your guitar.

Thank you.

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If I bought it from a store I would take it to them and ask for help with it . If I bought online I would set the action and relief first off, If that didn't cure the problem I would contact the seller. You may pay a bit more buying from a store but having someone there to help you is worth something

Edited by gardo
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Thanks guys. I will take it to the store today after work. I forgot to mention, when I first took out of the box and played it, there was no fret buzz. After I tuned the guitar, the buzz appeared.

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I've never bought a guitar on line that I didn't have to do a bunch of tweaking to make it play right. 

There is one check you should always do which can help you narrow down the possibilities and hopefully rule out something tragic like really bad fretwork or bowed neck. 

First I'd look down the neck from each end and get a light to bounce off the fret tops.  You should be able to see any high spots and major neck curvature doing that. 

Second take each string and hold the strings down past the very last (highest) fret, the pick the string around the 12th fret. The string should clear all frets up to the nut and produce a tone.  A little fret slap doesn't hurt but the frets shouldn't rub and stop the string from clearing all the other fret tops.  Do this for each string, they should all clear the fret tops holding down the last, 22nd fret all the way to the nut. 

Third do the same thing holding down the first and last frets.  The string should just clear all the frets in between having the largest gap at the 5th to 9th frets.  If you find the strings don't clear all frets between the 1st and last frets when you pick the string at the 12th fret then you either have high frets or not enough relief.  Its common for a neck to reverse bow when the strings are slackened during shipping.  The guitar needs to be strung up for a week or two before the neck relief acclimates.  After that you can figure its going to need to be tweaked. 

String height has to be correct before you make any evaluations.  Usually 4/64ths on the high strings and 6/64 on the low string with the others gradually rising in between is enough to clear most factory fret work unless there is something seriously wring.  If the neck radius is really low like 7.5" you may need higher string height to prevent strings from fretting out when you bend them. 

Don't rule out a shifted neck if this is a bolt on job either.  Again look down the neck and make sure the High and low E strings have equal clearance to the edges of the fret board.  A bolt on neck can take an impact shipping and skew the neck alignment and all that fret buzz may be coming from strings that are running off the edge of the fret board or being shoved over to the center.  Re-align the neck and make sure the screws are tight.  Another item is the pickups may be too close to the strings pulling them down against the frets causing string buzz.  With the last fret held down the gap between pickup top and strings should bet at least 2~3mm if you want to avoid problems. Nut height can be way off too. Typically a new guitar will have nuts cut too high which give you plenty of lifespan for string wear but it may not provide optimal playing.  I typically like to leave my nuts a little high till I get all my other specs in then do small tweaks to the nut height till strings play nice without bending sharp or buzzing on the lower frets. 

 

Of course first time around you may want to have a pro do all this stuff for you. After that you should learn to do it yourself. Many of your best guitarists are also top notch guitar mechanics and by using a decent guide its not all that hard to learn so long as you have a few basic tools like a fine ruler for making measurements. Try and avoid making adjustments based on how it feels until you know the instrument very well and in fact know its limitations. 

This guides specs work on most instruments. How you actually do the adjustments on one bridge or another may vary by instrument type but the actual specs are pretty good for most instruments no matter what brand unless you got something really oddball.  I'd print this and keep it in your took kit along with any instrument tools you collect. 

 

https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us/articles/212774786-How-do-I-set-up-my-Stratocaster-guitar-properly-

 

 

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Thanks for the detailed troubleshooting steps and the link.

I took the guitar to the repair shop yesterday, the repair technician wasn't there but the sales person examined it and said it is most likely a rod issue. Only the E string was buzzing closer to the the first pick. I told them If the guitar is defective or needs major modification then don't do it. I would rather exchange it now than get stuck with it.

I will pick it up today and see how it goes. I will definitely let you all know the outcome.

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Now that you have a couple posts to assist you go on Amazon.com and purchase the Guitar Player's Repair guide by Dan Erlewine, 2nd or 3rd editions is what I recommend, and never worry or have to take your guitar into anywhere for minor work ever again.  I've used Dan's book for almost twenty years to work on my and other people's guitars and bass' (that I feel comfortable with).  Reading and using this book will give you what you need to spot issues with a guitar that's a simply fix within your skill set or something that need to be taken to a tech. 

Very possible they will take a truss rod tool make a quarter turn to fix your guitar.  If not that, then isolate the fret and take a plastic deadblow hammer and tap the fret a couple times and fix it. 

Edited by mikesr1963
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So I got the guitar back from GS yesterday. The fret buzz is now gone if plugged into the amp but still there if unplugged. The service technician (very nice guy) adjusted the relief/action and said most guitars are like this, if it bothers you or distract you, we will get it replaced with another one. So I spent time in the store checking other guitars, two guitars I picked randomly had the fret buzz when unplugged but two other guitars had no fret buzz when played unplugged.

I took my guitar home, played with it and I could not hear the fret buzz through the amp at all but I could hear it when unplugged. It wasn't distracting me while playing through the amp because I wasn't hearing it.

What should I do guys? Would this guitar give me headache down the road? Is Schecter a reliable brand?
Thank you.
https://www.guitarcenter.com/Schecter-Guitar-Research/C-1-Platinum-Electric-Guitar-Satin-Transparent-Midnight-Blue-1500000239535.gc

P.S. Schecter support doesn't seem to be helpful. I emailed for a different reason and instead of helping me by providing what I asked for in the email, he referred back to the product web page which it did not have what I was looking for and that was the reason I contacted Schecter. This made me worry about Schecter ability to support their products in case I need it!!

Edited by blunt_force
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If the buzz is still apparent, as you say, acoustically but not when amplified, that is an anomaly...and what you may be hearing is something else, not a fret buzz, but possibly an issue in the bridge or one of the string-through ferrules. If it bothers you, exchange the instrument immediately, do not 'settle' for something you know bothers you!

Although I wholeheartedly agree that one should understand repairs, and that the Erlewine book is an excellent resource, in your particular case, do not make any changes to the instrument if you can return it! I made that mistake once, and learned my lesson.

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Playing style also enters into the equation. If you like low action and hit the strings hard there will be fret buzz. You can use the edge of a credit card to check for a high fret. Just lay the edge of the card across 3 frets. If the card rocks , you have a high fret

 One, school of thought says it's an electric guitar  if it sounds fine through the amp why worry about it,especially if a tech set it up and didn't find a problem.

 

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